• barefootshoereview

Episode 57: Shamma Trailstars Alpha and Alpha Le



We were so excited to receive the Shamma Trailstars Alpha and Alpha Le Models. I was looking for a dressier/classier sandal that I can dress up if I want to without compromising on function and Sean was always looking for a z strap hiking sandal. I think most people like Shamma footwear because of their function as well as being very aesthetically pleasing. Their sandals are just so rich and clean looking, very quality, and almost exquisite in design and make. I must say that Shamma Trailstars checked every box and really exceeded my expectations.


You can use the Discount Code of BAREFOOTSHOE10 for 10% off (Non affiliate code)

Can purchase them Here.



Company Overview:


Shamma Elite Minimalist Footwear are a home business with high standards. "Located among the magnificent redwoods of Santa Cruz, California: our small, home-based workshop strives to make the best minimalist footwear available. Everything is hand-made, hand-sewn, and tailored to your needs." Shamma is family owned and operated. "For Shamma Sandals, family is everything. As a small, family-operated business, we want you to know that your sandals come from people just like you; runners, hikers, and everyday people."


Why Shamma's?


"With any good athletic sandal, what you want is something that allows range of movement but also securely locks your foot and the sandal together, comfortably. To be active, agile and balanced, you need to avoid slipping between your footwear and your feet - no flip-flopping! A lot of factors go into this - material composition, footbed, the lacing system, weight, thickness, connection points, even stitching. We refuse to sacrifice on quality even with our thread, which is military-spec. It comes down to the details.

Shammas have been fine-tuned to create a secure hold on your foot while remaining so comfortable that you stop noticing they're there. We've spent a lot of time eliminating hot-spots and manufacturing custom machines and parts to solve small problems. Once we solved enough of these small problems, it led up to a big total - sandals so minimal that they melt away and you don't have to worry about what you're wearing anymore. You just do what you want to do, and forget about the rest."


About the TrailStars Alpha Le:


New Shamma Lacing, new possibilities- TrailStars are designed to take on the toughest trails while keeping you comfortably secure. TrailStar Alpha LEs have a whole new lacing system, which connects the forefoot and big toe to the sandal like never before. With the Trailstars, you get shoe-level connection to the sole, using our proprietary Forefoot UltraStrap and SoleAnchors. Forefoot UltraStraps and SoleAnchors allow total control over your adjustments, to give you a perfect fit. All this in minimalist sandals that allow for flexibility and natural foot movement.

The TrailStars lacing is made from HP UltraSuede, which is material that is made without leather but that will provide comfort and security all day long!

TrailStar Alpha LEs share the same rugged sole as the Mountain Goat LEs. except they use an American Aniline leather footbed. Hike in comfort and style with Aniline leather!


Click here to visit the TrailStars on the Shamma site.


Disclaimer: These shoes were given to us to review, however our opinion is our own. Thank you, and enjoy the read!





Manufacturing and Sustainability:

  • Handmade in the USA (handmade, handsewn).

  • Family-operated small business.

  • Support small business. They are proud to work with an expanding list of small local shops that carry quality footwear, working hard to get Shammas into more stores so you can try them on in person.

  • They are built for performance, but that doesn’t just mean running. Walk, hike, or just relax – Shamma Sandals are comfy as well as durable, and you'll find yourself wearing them everywhere!

  • Shamma soles give you protection without taking away “ground feel”, the sensations from your feet that keep you in touch with what you are running on and how your body is responding. The sole will mold to your footprint with use: your feet compress the soling material, and the entire sole will begin to take the shape of your foot. This makes them more comfortable sandals to wear and gives them a custom fit to your feet.

  • They have a Sandal Repair Program in case in need of a replacement.

  • Most of their Sandals are leather while their UltraGrip top models are vegan.



Shipping and Returns:


We use USPS as our domestic carrier. With any sandals purchase, domestic shipping within the USA is free!

Domestic orders arrive 3-5 business days from when they ship. Please also keep in mind that our sandals are made to order - we typically ship orders within 3-5 business days.


For international orders, we ship with DHL Express and charge a flat rate in USD. It typically takes 3-5 business days for international orders to arrive after shipping out, but can take longer in some cases due to customs.


Click here for more info on shipping.


Return within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked, if your sandals aren’t totally amazing you and changing the way you feel about your feet. If the laces fail within 90 days, please email us at contact@shammasandals.com with photos of the damaged part of the sandals for a free repair or replacement. Any laces that fail outside of the 90 day window can be purchased at a discount. Please note that the shipping costs for all returns must be covered by the customer. In the case of a full refund, the cost of the product itself will be fully refunded, except for the cost of shipping back to us.


Click here for more returns info.




First Impressions: Sara TrailStar's Alpha LE - Shamma Size 7 or US Women's 8.5


My first impressions were "WOW!". I knew out of the box this would be my next favorite go to dressy/casual sandals. The combo of the HP UltraSuede non leather black upper and the deep red American Aniline leather footbed is just exquisite. The Z-Strap lacing system with the extra toe post allows for the forefoot and big toe to connect to the sandal like never before. The straps are adjustable throughout the sandal and there is a a Velcro adjustment strap in the front as well as behind the ankle. The sandals are so simple to put on and adjust and I instantly felt like this was made for my foot. Obviously the leather footbed molds to your foot over time, but I felt so comfortable in it at the start with zero break-in time. The sandal feels so one with my feet due to the lacing system and everything about it is just soft and comfortable and just plain beautiful. I found myself reaching for these every time I was going out, whether to the park to play frisbee, or the grocery store, or to dinner and they do not disappoint. I definitely caught many people sneaking glances at it, they're just that incredible.




First Impressions: Sean TrailStar's Alpha - Shamma Size 8 or US Men's 8


Being an experienced sandal wearer, I was blown away by the way the sandal really attaches to your feet. With the unique Z-strap system with the extra toe post it eliminated all problems other minimalist sandals have. Most Z-strap sandals tend to push the toes together a bit while if the Z-strap sits too high the toes have to work too hard to grip the sandal, all affecting gait for the negative. Here Shamma ingeniously made a higher up Z-strap and with the extra toe post. The rugged feel immediately gave me an urge to go hiking in it, but I still pulled it off with casual/dressier outfits. After spending a full day hiking in these I even like the toe post further as I feel it helps my big toe spread properly and really push into the floor. The sandal truly feels like an extension of your foot and is one of the most firmly attached minimalist sandals I have ever tried.





Sizing and Fit:


Sara: My foot measures 25cm (9.8inch) long and 9.5cm (3.7inch) wide. I went with the Shamma Size 7 which is a US 8.5. I generally wear a US 8 but have noticed recently that I fit into a U.S 8.5 a little better. I am very pleased with the sizing. I have a medium to low volume foot and the strapping system fits perfectly.


For higher volume feet i.e wide foot and/or a high arch, choose the 'L' option in your size. The L size option will allow you to get the same size sole, but with longer straps to account for wide feet/high arches.


Shamma provides a sizing chart with PDF printable templates to ensure you're ordering the correct size.


Regarding the fit, it was easily adjustable with zero break-in time. It felt so comfortable immediately and was a pleasure to walk in. It does not interfere with my foot's function at all and I enjoyed playing frisbee and light sport in them around the park as well.

I did notice that on days that were a bit warmer, my foot did feel a bit suctioned to the leather footbed which caused a bit of discomfort, but whenever I wore them on slightly cooler days I did not have that issue. Sean has the TrailStars Alpha which have a rubber footbed and did not experience that issue at all, so if you generally have super sweaty feet I would recommend to perhaps stick to the Alpha with the rubber footbed.


Sean: My foot measures 26cm (10.2 inch) long and 10.1cm (3.9 inch) wide. I went with the Shamma Size Men's 8 which is a US 8. I generally wear a US 8 but in some brands I fit a size 9 a little better. I have a high volume muscular foot and the sandal fits perfectly.




Performance:


With the 12mm stack height the Alpha is an all around great sandal that is flexible and durable. You can hike in them, run in them, play light sport in them and just hang around town in them. And you can definitely dress them up. The Z-strap with the extra toe post allows for the foot's natural movement and you feel completely connected to the shoe.


Upper:

  • TrailStars lacing is made from HP UltraSuede, which is material that is made without leather but that will provide comfort and security all day long!

  • Z-strap with toe post

  • Adjustable straps with 2 Velcro adjustments in front and behind the ankle



Sole:

  • TrailStar Alpha LEs share the same rugged sole as the Mountain Goat LEs. except they use an American Aniline leather footbed.

  • 5mm Vibram Newflex

  • 6mm Vibram Morflex

  • 1mm American Aniline leather footbed (Alpha Le), The Alpha contains a 1 mm ultragrip footbed instead and is Vegan.

  • Total stack height of 12mm.

  • It is also bendy and flexible as is standard for Vibram soled sandals.



Weight and Movement:

  • Lightweight

  • Very flexible

  • Allows for natural foot movement

  • Good tread for light sport, hiking, and every day activity.

  • Feels so seamless with your foot



Specs:

  • Upper: HP UltraSuede

  • Footbed: 1mm American Aniline leather footbed (Alpha Le) / 1 mm ultragrip footbed (Alpha)

  • Sole: 5mm Vibram Newflex and 6mm Vibram Morflex

  • Drop: Zero Drop

  • Stack Height: 12mm

  • Weight: Lightweight

  • Price: $124.95 Alpha Le /$ 109.95 Alpha

  • Sizes available: 4,5,5.5-12.5,13,14. and the same for higher volume feet 4L-14L.



Care Instructions:


Shamma Sandals are high quality sandals that will last through almost any condition! That being said, you may want to clean or care for your sandals from time to time, especially after those intense trails.

For UltraGrip sandals, we recommend washing the sandals with water, and only if needed, a mild soap. Air dry the sandals in a place of moderate temperature, making sure to keep the sandals out of direct heat, sunlight, or steam.

For leather sandals, we recommend using Lexol Leather Cleaner + Conditioner. For cleaning instructions, please see container.

Please note - As with most materials, when our sandals are stored or placed in intense temperatures and conditions, there is a chance that they can lose their integrity or shape. Conditions such as direct sunlight, heat, cold, steam, or prolonged moisture may damage the sandals. These conditions are nothing to worry about when you're wearing the sandals- only if you store the sandals in any of these conditions or leave them in any of these conditions as part of the cleaning process, there is a chance they could be damaged. We recommend keeping your sandals in a dry, moderate place away from extreme temperatures and weather conditions.


Lacing System:

Adjustable Vegan Z-straps with suede like feel, with easily adjustable Velcro straps in front and back of ankle




Future Improvements:


I am really blown away by these sandal's style and comfort. The only improvement I would recommend is figuring out away to minimize sweating on the leather footbed of the Alpha Le since it can feel like your foot is being suctioned a bit on very hot days. Otherwise this sandal checks every box for me. The Alpha did not have this issue since it has an ultra grip footbed.


Where and How to Wear:

  • Suitable for most adventures or run around town.

  • Great for light sports, hikes, or play in the park.

  • Can totally wear dressy since the sandal has such a classy look to it.

  • Excellent for everyday wear



Conclusion:


True to my first impressions out of the box these sandals are my new favorite go to footwear. They are just plain stunning and so comfortable to wear. They optimize my foots natural movement and don't restrict it in any way. The Z-Strap lacing with added toe post allows for the wonderful connection between your foot and the sandal. And I am thrilled that I have a sandal I can wear for dressier occasions as well. Can't recommend this one enough.


The strapping system is unique and out of this world and the sandal is that perfect blend of aesthetics and function. I would love a thinner version as well but am extremely satisfied with this model overall.


You can use the Discount Code of BAREFOOTSHOE10 for 10% off (Non affiliate code)

Can purchase them Here.

Sean & Sara